Which Ethernet cable is best?
Those looking for the best Ethernet cables will be happy to know that any old Ethernet cable will likely do for the average consumer. However, those with specific needs like outdoor use, data constraints and other potential factors should consider their needs before making a purchase that isn’t sufficient for their needs.
The DbillionDa Cat8 Outdoor/Indoor Shielded Ethernet Cable will work for almost anyone’s needs, regardless of their circumstances.
What to know before you buy an ethernet cable
Necessary distance from the router to devices
First and foremost, it’s essential to consider how far the distance between your internet router and your device is, as this will largely determine what length you need your cable to be. You can always buy a long cable if you aren’t entirely sure, and especially if you have a place where you can neatly hide or coil the cable out of sight.
Ethernet cable category
A major feature to consider with the best Ethernet cable is their category rating. Ethernet category ratings include Cat5e, Cat6, Cat7 and Cat8. While they aren’t perfectly standard, most can think of the higher numbered categories as having newer technology and usually offering faster data transfer rates, larger bandwidths and higher-quality shielding.
Indoor vs. outdoor Ethernet cables
Outdoor Ethernet cables require a stronger shielding and overall coat since they have to hold up against the weather without compromising the quality of the cable inside. Still, indoor Ethernet cables are fairly durable to non-moisture elements like dust and debris, and they’re suitable for most household or office uses.
What to look for in a quality Ethernet cable
Ultimately, you’ll want to make sure the ethernet cable you buy is long enough to reach from your device to the internet router. Ethernet cables vary widely in size, with some as small as 2 feet, while others can span up to 50 feet or more.
As far as functionality goes, an Ethernet cable’s speed refers to its max data transfer rate. Most Ethernet cables offer speeds up to 10 Gbps, though some can give the user speeds of up to 40 Gbps for those with super high-speed internet needs.
The available bandwidth offered by a given Ethernet cable will range significantly, though most will find their needs met with cables that offer between 200 MHz and 700 MHz. Outliers to these bandwidth limits do exist on ethernet cables, and while it’s always good to check before you buy, most ethernet cables will offer users plenty of bandwidth for their needs.
Shielding refers to how the internal cable is wound, and, as you can expect, higher-quality shielding is more expensive. In industrial circumstances and household circumstances alike, many Cat8 Ethernet cables use the trusted S/FTP shielding, which is strongly protected and significant for most uses.
How much you can expect to spend on Ethernet cables
Prices for Ethernet cables tend to be fairly affordable, especially for households, offices and other day-to-day users. In general, ethernet cables can be as cheap as $5, with longer and higher-quality Ethernet cables costing as much as $100 or more.
Ethernet cables FAQ
Do ethernet cables differ?
A. While most Ethernet cables will work for the needs of the average at-home internet user, Ethernet cables do differ. Generally, Ethernet cable differences can be wrapped up into categories, like Cat6, Cat7 and Cat8. However, more specific cable differences will include their max data rate offering, shielding and available bandwidth.
Does an ethernet cable help with gaming speeds?
A. In many cases, using an ethernet cable instead of a wireless internet connection can help users improve both the speeds and stability of their gaming connections. Consoles like the Xbox One, PS5, Xbox 360 and PS4 usually offer Ethernet ports on the system’s back.
What ARE the best Ethernet cableS to buy?
Top ethernet cable
What you need to know: Beyond being super durable, this shielded all-weather Ethernet cable offers superior connection speeds and can be run across distances up to 25 feet.
What you’ll love: If you need an Ethernet cable for outdoor use, this Ethernet cable features a robust all-weather shielding that stands up to the weather. It’s also suitable for indoor use at high speeds. However, since it features Category 8 Ethernet technology, you can use it for speeds up to 40 Gbps.
What you should consider: While it does offer some crucial benefits for outdoor and high-speed users, this cable is fairly expensive for the average consumer.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top ethernet cable for the money
What you need to know: This cable works with tons of different devices and offers a super-affordable price, especially if you don’t need a lot of distance between your router and your device.
What you’ll love: This Category 7 Ethernet is perfect for speeds up to 10 Gbps and supports up to 600MHz of bandwidth. You can also purchase it at various lengths, ranging from 3-feet to 50-feet and with several sizes in between.
What you should consider: This cable may not be sufficient for those with data-intensive hobbies like gaming, 4K streaming or several devices operating simultaneously. It is also only rated for indoor use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This 50-foot indoor Ethernet comes with 15 useful cable clips for the ultimate in optimized cable pathways, and it features a thin, band-like cable design that makes it easy to hide.
What you’ll love: This particular Ethernet cable comes in either 50 or 25-foot lengths and can be used with a variety of different network devices. With Category 6 Ethernet hardware, this cable offers speeds up to 10 Gbps with a bandwidth of up to 250 Mhz.
What you should consider: This cable is not rated for outdoor use and is a little more expensive than some cable models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Zachary Visconti writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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